Saturday, April 09, 2011

Not-So-Angry Chicken

Search this blog for "chicken" and you will most likely find posts about failed cooking attempts. I can really wreck a chicken.
But I like to eat it, so I try, try again. (Which reminds me of how stuck I am at Level 3 of Angry Birds. Battery-wasting stuck; try, try again. Hey! A chicken is a bird.)
A while back I found a recipe for a sort of roasted chicken, but the bird was cut up instead of whole. The most appealing part, though, was the bed of vegetables that the chicken pieces sit atop for their trip to the oven.
The recipe is a chore, frankly, and I abbreviated it like mad. It's one of those "Yesterday, coax loving moans from a pot of chicken stock; you will need this today" type things.
I didn't even use chicken stock, but I did substitute another liquid. Chickenweiser. Likewise, my measurements were a touch random, and I even added a special secret ingredient to the vegetable mix.
I liked the method: Pan-sear the chicken until browned. Saute the vegetables in the (now- empty but still chickeny) same pot. Nestle the leg parts into the vegetables and roast, uncovered, for an hour. (This is too long, and we covered the pot for part of the time to keep the vegetables moist.) Finally, lay the breasts on top and roast uncovered for another 20 minutes or so.
Dang, I still managed to overcook the meat, but it was sooo close and so delicious, I'm totally trying this again.
OK, the secret ingredient? Little cut-up bits of homegrown prunes. Not sure I'd recommend Sun Maid, though you could try. Or you could use dried apricots or something. Try again!
It was absolutely insane!!! Subtle, deep, dark hints of sweetness.
Eating it made me hungry. I had two plates of Happy Bird.

23 comments:

cookiecrumb said...

YOU WERE ELECTED TO SERVE YOUR CONSTITUENTS, ASSHATS.

Zoomie said...

Laughed out loud at, "Yesterday, coax loving moans... today." Still smiling over here. Man, you're good!

Greg said...

I'm LOL at your ASSHATs reference! That sure is a pretty looking chicken.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Oh, gee. Blush! Thanks. You're good, too.

Greg: Yes, well I'm ladylike and all... :D
The chicken gets its great (totally edible) skin from a combination of pan searing and oven roasting. Try it.

bewitchingkitchen.com said...

My only problem with roasting chicken is the mess that it always makes in my oven. I'll never forget when I tried a recipe that called for roasting at 500F - we thought the firemen would stop by any second...

I think Bittman's recipe is a bit too involved (pulling the skin off, rendering....) - I bet yours tasted just as great

Zoomie said...

P.S. The plums with chicken are a Middle Eastern idea, I think. Sounds lovely and you're lucky to have them. I also love the asshats. You admirers are legion.

cookiecrumb said...

Bewitch: I think we need outdoor wood-burning ovens, yes? Bet you never have to clean those.
Yeah, the recipe is silly. Wasn't Bittman The Minimalist not too long ago? (I love to pull his chain.)

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Did not know that! I understand bastilla, sugary and spicy, but no plums that I know of. Well, anyway, it was a lucky choice. We almost *only* eat our plums dried. I'll make a sack of them for you to keep in your fridge.
"Asshats." Heh. I finally looked it up (thought it was just "polite" for a-hole). It means having your head so far up your butt, you can wear your butt as a hat. :D

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

Yay for battle chicken! Was it Thatcher that said - "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." (?) I never saute my vegetables before putting them under the chicken (whole or pieces). Sometimes I'm so lazy I just peel carrots and use them as an informal roasting rack whole :-)
Asshats indeed! Did you do the NY Times "solve the budget puzzle" online? Really, took me 5 mins to get us smoothed out... (also interesting to see where all the $ is allocated at the moment in this country).

cookiecrumb said...

Little Pots: I might notta won the battle, but I made some good dents.
And, yeah, cooking the vegetables first? Even so, it really worked. Of course, your "trivet" of carrots makes tons of sense.
I'll go look for the NYT puzzle. (I'm assuming you suscribe, because you can visit the site free. Me too.)
Right now, Pelosi is my goddess.

Cruise Ninja said...

Don't be mad. Take a cruise!

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

My Sunday mornings are all about coffee and the NY Times analog style :)
The "you fix the budget" is in the week in review section.
Potatoes also make fine trivets!

Zoomie said...

Asshats - even better! :-)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Your header reminded me of this sillyness http://bit.ly/dFc8SO

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: That's fantastic. I wish we wrote as acerbically and balls-out funny in the US. Thanks for that.

namastenancy said...

Like you, I loathe the asshats but please number me among the legions of your fans. My favorite chicken recipe is to split a whole chicken in two with my trusty over sized Chinese cleaver, rub with lemons and butter/olive oil, put garlic cloves under the skin and roast in the oven, again using my trusty but ancient cast iron skillet. The chicken is deliciously flavored with lemon and the skin is crispy good.

Zoomie said...

Mouse, that's most amusing! and of course I tend to agree. What's wrong with good old food?

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Sounds delish. Flavors, I can do ... it's the actual cooking that I bungle. :)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Cookie, some do, how about the lovely David Sedaris?
Zoomie - my chicken tends to look like chichen :)

Papa said...

MMmmmMmm, prunes. Sweet, creamy, blast o' sweetness.

Chicken breasts can be pesky critters, a lot like beef. One minute they're crazy perfect, the next minute you have a boot sole.

xo, Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Papa! I need coaching. But I understand that even you get foiled once in a while.
You want some prunes, or are you just spoofing?

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Yes, there are some. David Sedaris is such fun. Tina Fey is, too. (But the book? Just a memoir. Feh, Fey!)

meathenge said...

Hay, no spoof on the prunes. Good action! Sure, get foiled on a regular basis. But not usually with chicken. I eat/prep/cook so much of the darned stuff, just rolls out of my kitchen with ease. So much chicken that the boys shy away from it now like ... cauliflower runs from bacon?

xo, Biggles